More Reading Tests For Children, Announces Michael Gove
Michael Gove will be sticking by his proposals for introducing more reading tests for children, despite warnings that they are a "waste of money".
Speaking on ITV's Daybreak on Monday, he told presenters the phonics-based tests for Year 1 children will show "who needs more help with their reading".
"Reading is crucial to a child's success as they progress through school and in later life," he continued.
In November 2010, the education secretary announced the government would launch a public consultation for teachers and parents to submit their views on how effective they felt the tests would be.
"In spite of the hard work of teachers and pupils, too many children are currently not reaching the expected reading levels at age seven and age 11," he said at the time.
"Parents want to know how their children are reading and this will tell them."
Gove's appearance on ITV coincides with the channel's "Get Britain Reading" campaign, which aims to get members of the public to "read to yourself or your child for 10 minutes every day".
A survey by Daybreak and children's newspaper First News revealed:
- 39% of children have never read to or with their parents
- 40% of children say no-one reads to them
- 46% say they would like their parents to spend more time reading to them
Gove's intentions to plough ahead with the new tests will no doubt anger literacy experts who previously warned the minister the tests will fail to identify youngsters' needs.
In an open letter to Gove, written in October last year, experts told him:
"Many of our original fears have been confirmed by the evaluation report and the undersigned remain deeply concerned about the imposition of this test on all schools in England.
The letter adds: "The government is proposing to spend millions of pounds of taxpayers' money every year on a test which will increase workload, undermine teaching time, fail in its core purpose of accurately identifying children's needs in reading and is unnecessary in promoting the already present teaching of phonics."
After his Daybreak appearance on Monday, Gove was the subject of another backlash as others took to Twitter to voice their anger, with one mother and teacher asking "because teachers can't be trusted?".